Posts Tagged ‘dirty projectors’

Choir Psallite Deo (Photo Credit)

For the January installment of my SoundMakers residency, I want to write about setting words to music. The piece I wrote for SoundStreams posed some interesting text-setting challenges, given the fact that it’s in Old French and every word echoes for 5–10 seconds after being sung. Text setting is an area where composers often miss the point, so I’m going to look at some of the key considerations involved, and then I’ll describe how those play out in a piece like Longuement me sui tenus.

Too many composers treat text setting like part making: an obligatory chore you have to do when you’re working with singers, but not an integral part of the compositional process. That’s a huge lost opportunity. (more…)

The Dirty Projectors, dressed for winter (press photo)

This is the second in my installment of mini-composition lessons based on non-classical music, this time on the topic of how to write for voice. Today, I’m going to take a look at “Police Story” by the Dirty Projectors, which I think is a fantastic example of how to use timbre and word-music placement to great effect. “Police Story” is practically an instructional guide on how to fully and effectively use voice in composition. It’s also great in a lot of other ways, but we’ll focus on the vocal elements. (more…)